Originally published February 12 2014
Expert says we're not drinking enough beer
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) For some readers, the headline to this story sounds like a dream come true, most likely. But before you head out to the store for a keg, read on.
According to Britain's The Independent newspaper, the country's "Dry January" might have actually done more harm to the population than good, says one expert who has said that drinking regularly throughout the post-New Year period would have many more benefits than just dropping spirits altogether.
"It's well known that drinking too much can cause serious health problems," says Prof. Charles Bamforth of the University of California, Davis. "Many people don't realize that drinking in moderation has significant health benefits and that moderate drinkers have a longer life expectancy than non-drinkers.
"Regular moderate intake of alcohol is good for the heart and blood circulation," he added.
Bamforth, author of the book Beer, Health and Nutrition, emphasized, however, that just because you may have taken a month off from imbibing doesn't mean that you can go hog-wild now for the remainder of the year.
'Tis better than drinking alone
"The key is a little and often," Bamforth stressed. "You are seriously mistaken if you think that having a month without drinking will protect you from the effects of excessive drinking for the rest of the year. The best advice is to drink moderately throughout the year."
And, as you might expect, it is not just the amount that you drink but what you drink as well. Bamforth says beer - and in particular, real ale - offers a number of nutritional benefits.
"The great thing about beer is that it is low in alcohol and brewed from natural raw materials so it's a good source of important nutrients such as antioxidants, B vitamins and dietary silicon that promotes strong bones. Indeed beer used to be known as liquid bread," he says.
The Britain-based Campaign for Real Ale, or CAMRA, welcomed the evidence.
"The health benefits of moderate drinking may explain why you meet so many people enjoying a healthy retirement who still like going for a pint of real ale in their local," said CAMRA chairman Colin Valentine. "The evidence also shows that sociability has significant benefits to health and well-being. You are far better off sharing a beer with friends in a pub than sitting at home drinking by yourself."
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